The newly minted Canada Infrastructure Bank is fueling up for a fast start when it opens for business later this year, with officials in the Trudeau government already having vetted a potential first round of projects. An “interdepartmental project advisory group” met in recent weeks to discuss the rollout of the Parliament-approved, $27.5-billion bank and some initial projects the government’s new lending-investment arm might focus on, says Kate Monfette, spokeswoman for Amarjeet Sohi, federal infrastructure minister.
One project identified is Montreal’s ambitious light-rail system, which will receive a $1-billion federal commitment, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. The province of Quebec and Caisse de Dépôt, the giant pension fund heavily involved in financing and overseeing the $4.7-billion project known as Réseau Electrique Métropolitain, will be able to seek financing from the bank, Trudeau noted. At 76 kilometers, the Montreal line would be the world’s fourth-largest automated transit system, behind those in Vancouver, Singapore and Dubai.